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Former Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney Elected to Senate in Utah

Mitt Romney speaks to supporters after declaring victory in his Senate primary race on June 26, 2018, in Orem, Utah. (Credit: George Frey / Getty Images)

Mitt Romney speaks to supporters after declaring victory in his Senate primary race on June 26, 2018, in Orem, Utah. (Credit: George Frey / Getty Images)

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has handily won a U.S. Senate seat in his adopted home state of Utah after a campaign where he backed off his once-fierce criticism of Donald Trump.

Romney clinched the win Tuesday as he defeated Democrat Jenny Wilson, a member of the Salt Lake County council.

Romney was the heavy favorite to win the seat in conservative Utah, where he holds near-celebrity status as the first Mormon presidential nominee from a major party.

He replaces longtime Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who chose not to seek re-election.

Romney denounced Trump as a “fraud” and a “phony” during the 2016 campaign, but has since said he approves of many Trump policies.

Check back for updates on this developing story.